Schuette Reminds Residents about September Consumer Education Programs

LANSING – Attorney General Bill Schuette is encouraging Michigan residents to learn more about the consumer education programs offered through his office in the month of September. The Department of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division offers a variety of programs throughout the month aimed at keeping Michigan consumers safe and up-to-date on the latest scams.

THE SEPTEMBER PROGRAMS INCLUDE:

  • Home Repair & Improvement – Learn the telltale signs of home repair scams, unscrupulous contractors, and how to navigate the home improvement process.
  • Phone, Mail, & e-Scams – Learn the signs of scams prevalent in phone calls, mail, email, and texts, along with steps to take to minimize your risk of being victimized.
  • Identity Theft – Learn about the signs of identity theft, how to protect your personal information online and off, and what to do if you become an identity theft victim
  • Online Safety – Learn how to protect your devices, money, and personal information while online. Also provides information on how to avoid common and emerging online scams.
  • In Home Care & Senior Residences – Learn about resources available to help you make the best decisions regarding care for yourself or your loved ones at home or in a senior residence.
  • Investment Fraud – Learn how to recognize fraudulent investments and obtain objective facts about reverse mortgages and annuities. Also provides information on how to investigate both the seller and the product before investing.

CONSUMER PROTECTION EDUCATION NUMBERS

In 2017, the Department of Attorney General presented 723 consumer protection programs reaching 14,535 consumers. So far in 2018, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has held nearly 420 events educating more than 8,200 consumers.

OTHER CONSUMER PROGRAMS

In addition to the free educational programs, the Consumer Protection Division also publishes an electronic quarterly newsletter. To sign up to receive the newsletter, visit the Attorney General’s website.

Schuette is also dedicated to protecting children across the state of Michigan, and his office runs safety programs like OK2SAY and Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI). These programs inspire Michigan students to share and respond to student safety threats and break the code of silence. In the 2017-2018 school year, more than a quarter of a million attendees went to an OK2SAY/CSI presentation.

To schedule a student safety presentation for the 2018-2019 school year, visit the OK2SAY website.

REGISTER FOR A CONSUMER EDUCATION PRESENTATION

Consumer Education Presentations are available for your group, club, or class on the topics outlined above.

To register for a presentation, please complete the online registration form. You may also print a copy of the registration form and submit it to the following address:

Michigan Department of Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909

###

Sexual assault survivors can call toll-free hotline 24 hours a day for confidential support, resources

Hotline Logo

Sexual assault survivors can call toll-free hotline 24 hours a day for confidential support, resources

A new confidential, 24-hour sexual assault hotline will provide crisis support and referrals to survivors and their friends and family, Gov. Rick Snyder and First Lady Sue Snyder announced. The hotline, at 1-855-VOICES4, launched last week.

“The launch of this hotline is the latest – and one of the most important – steps in Michigan’s efforts to support survivors of sexual assault as they go through the healing process,” Gov. Snyder said. “Sue and I want survivors to know that trained, caring professionals are prepared to listen and assist them along their journey toward healing.”

The hotline will be staffed by professional crisis counselors with specialized training in crisis intervention, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, victim’s rights, health options and Michigan law. Hotline staff can help connect victims with community-based sexual assault programs that offer additional counseling, advocacy and support. Hotline staff also can connect victims with other Michigan services such as Crime Victims Compensation and the Michigan Victim Information and Notification Everyday (MI-VINE), an electronic victim notification service.

“Too often, survivors of sexual assault feel they have nowhere to turn for help,” Sue Snyder said. “This hotline helps to build a more supportive environment in Michigan where survivors can reach out safely and confidentially for the support they need and deserve.”

 The state hotline is a special project of the Division of Victim Services within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Day-to-day operations are conducted by the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.

The hotline is not intended for reporting sexual assaults to law enforcement. Those who wish to file a police report should call 911 or local law enforcement.

www.EndCampusSexualAssault.com

Governors Office News Release dated 8/28/18

MSP NEWS RELEASE, DNA confirms that “John Doe” buried in Georgia in 1979 is missing 15-year-old Andrew Jackson Greer from Addison, Mich.

ADRIAN, MICH. On Feb. 12, 1979, 15-year-old Andrew Jackson Greer left Addison High School and failed to return home. Greer’s whereabouts have been unknown for the past 39 plus years. The case remained cold after early investigations by the Michigan State Police in 1979 and the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department in 2000. The cold case was re-opened in 2014 and with developments in technology and resources, the mystery of Andrew’s whereabouts has finally been solved.

A forensic analyst from the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas today confirmed that DNA from a “John Doe,” who was buried in a pauper’s grave in Macon, Ga. in 1979, matches Greer’s DNA.

In December 2017, a retired Bibb County Sheriff’s Department deputy made the connection between the “John Doe” and Greer. The retired deputy notified MSP detectives, who then traveled to Macon, Ga. in April 2018 to exhume the body of “John Doe.” With the assistance of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department, Macon District Attorney’s Office and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, detectives were able to successfully recover the body to send for additional testing.

A DNA sample was taken from “John Doe” at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and sent to the Center for Human Identification for comparison. The results concluded that it was 1.9 trillion times more likely that the DNA from “John Doe” was that of Greer than not. Together, the DNA results and police reports conclude they are one in the same.

All indications are that Greer ran away from home on Feb. 12, 1979, and was killed when he was struck by a semi-truck while hitchhiking down I-75 near Macon, Ga. on Feb. 14, 1979. Greer’s identity has been a mystery to Georgia authorities until now, and the Michigan State Police had no information on his whereabouts until the connection was made in December 2017.

Arrangements are currently being made to bring Greer’s body back to Michigan.

                                                                          ###

MEDIA CONTACT:

D/F/Lt. Thomas DeClercq, MSP First District Special Investigation Section, 517-636-0703

Greer’s NamUs profile: https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/27117/details

Contaminated Fish from Huron River Reach Kent Lake

A “Do Not Eat” advisory has been added this weekend by the Michigan Department of Health for area lakes that feed from the Huron River. Fish from this Michigan lake have tested positive for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS.)

Kent Lake, part of Kensington Metropark, has been listed in the warning, along with other nearby bodies of water, including Loon Lake, and Hubbell Pond. Officials warn that parts of Oakland, Livingston, and Washtenaw Counties are under advisory. All fish tested from Kent lake on August 4 came back positive.

What is PFAS?

The same chemical found in the fish swimming in Kent Lake and other bodies of water connected to the Huron River is a water-resistant product used in manufacturing to create a non-stick surface. One study shows that PFAS contamination is spreading from Selfridge, who uses the chemical for training and firefighting. Tests taken from the National Guard Base shoe the PFAS contaminating the Clinton and St. Clair lakes.

How is PFAS harmful?

PFAS can effect learning, growth, hormones, cholesterol, the immune system, the liver, the thyroid. and can even increase the risk of getting cancer. Children and pregnant women are considered high risk. Though it can’t be seen or smelled on the fish, the effects start to take their toll on those who consume it.

The advisory on not eating fish from the effected areas is in effect for people, but you should also use caution with pets. Although potential harmful to eat, these fish are not considered dangerous to touch or swim with because the PFAS do not easily enter the body through skin contact.

WXYZ Detroit

PFOA

Study: PFAS contamination flowing from Selfridge to Metro Detroit water

August Summer Festivals Throughout Michigan

From art fairs and car shows to food and beer fests, Michigan is host to a big variety of summer festivals. August is a popular month for music festivals, food tasting, and reenactments. The festivals listed below are a sampling of the different fair and festivals throughout Michigan:

The Weekend of August 10-12

  • National Blueberry Festival in South Haven- A festival celebrating all thing blueberry.
  • John’s Mint Festival in St. John’s – Festival featuring art and crafts, food vendors, parade, flea market, chalk art and more.
  • Milford Memories Summer Festival in Milford – A standing Milford tradition with the annual Cold Butt Euchre Tournament, 5K race, one of the state’s largest art fairs, activities for kids in Central Park, along with music and beer tents.
  • Cheeseburger Festival in Caseville – The 20th annual festival will include a duck race, cheeseburger photo contest, face painting, and more.
  • Michigan Metal Fest in Battle Creek – In it’s second year, this festival features 40 heavy metal bands, food vendors, arts and crafts, and beer tents.
  • Colonial Kensington in Milford (Kensington Metropark) – A celebration of life in the 1700s. Reenactments from the time, along with historical costumes, trades persons and merchants.

The Weekend of August 16-19

  • Howell Melon Festival in Howell – A 58-year tradition featuring train rides, melon run, bike ride, entertainment, air dogs, animal magic, kids carnival and melon ice cream.
  • Summer Music Fest in Frankenmuth – Polka music festival.
  • Woodward Dream Cruise in Ferndale, Berkley, Birmingham – Started in 1995 as a one-day celebration, it has unofficially turned into a week long display of classic cars, muscle cars, hot rods, custom cars and collectors editions.
  • Rubber Ducky Festival in Bellaire – 31st annual festival features paddle event, car show, picnic, and rubber ducky race.
  • Ann Arbor Blues Festival in Ann Arbor – A summer blues party.
  • Port Huron Float Down in Port Huron – A tradition for over 40 years, people float down the river on a raft or float.
  • Festival on the Bay in Petosky – Features a midway, art show, children’s area, and entertainment, all on the waterfront.
  • Back to the Bricks in Flint – Car show features live music, vendors, concessions, dancing, giveaways and more.
  • UP State Fair in Escanaba – Got talent competition, helicopter landing, live entertainment, fireworks, antique car show, raffles, vendors, county market, and more.

The Weekend of August 23-26

  • Dragon on the Lake in Lake Orion – Beer and wine tasting, live music, lighted boat parade, chalk art, 5K run, dragon boat races, cornhole tournament, and more.
  • Kalamazoo Balloon Fest in Richmond – Watch 30 hot air balloons take flight and a night glow in the evening.
  • Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly – 16th century festival features live entertainment, comedy acts, jousting, costumes from the time period, and of course, turkey legs.
  • Mackinac Island Fudge Festival in Mackinac Island – Fudge demonstrations, Willy Wonka sittings, egg hunt, family games, concert, outdoor movie featuring “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and the great turtle slow ride, all on the picturesque island.
  • Cascades Civil War Muster in Jackson – Living history exhibits, educational events, battle re-enactments, live music and and arts and craft show will be featured at the 34th annual festival.
  • Thunder Over Michigan in Ypsilanti (Willow Run Airport) – Air show to feature the USAF Thunderbirds, Team Oracle, and Quicksilver P-51D.

The Weekend of August 30- September 3

  • Detroit Jazz Festival in Detroit – Jazz artists, with up to 30 performances, take the stage on Labor Day weekend.
  • Ford Arts, Beats and Eats in Royal Oak – 200 performances across 9 stages to include: Gin Blossoms, Everclear, Eddie Money, AWOLNATION,;along with Jazz and country bands. Kids stage to include puppet shows, Michigan Science Center, Roscoe the Clown, storytellers, and magic. The art show and food vendors (from 40 Metro-Detroit restaurants) are also notable.
  • Michigan Peach Festival in Romeo – Dating back to 1931, Romeo celebrate its prized crop. The Peach fest will include games, music, food, races and the naming of the 2018 Peach Queen.
  • Michigan Chicken Wing Festival in Lansing – Music, kid zone, vendors, beer, carnival, and of course, chicken wings (samples and eating contests)!
  • Thumbfest in Lexington – Festival celebrating acoustic music. 50 acts on 10 stages, all for free.
  • Michigan Polish Festival in Muskegon – With Polka bands, a wooden dance floor, beer and your favorite Polish dishes, you can’t go wrong.
  • Michigan State Fair in Novi (Suburban Collection Showplace) – Well known for the Beginning of Life exhibit, this fair also feature agriculture, competitions, cooking demos, dog performances, beer garden, equestrian exhibit, farmer’s market, art, live music, livestock, carnival rides, pig races, shrine circus, and more.

August is the perfect time to enjoy a weekend festival before the weather takes a turn. Whether you are all about nature, a classic car lover, a foodie, a history junkie, or a beer enthusiast, there is something for everyone among the festivals throughout Michigan this month.

Crackdown on Move Over Law

Drivers who follow Michigan’s Emergency Vehicle Caution Law (more commonly referred to as the Move Over Law) save lives, plain and simple. That’s why Michigan State Police are participating in a multi-state effort to crackdown on drivers who are not following the rule.

In 2016, 4,908 work-zone crashes took place, 17 of which resulted in deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. This statistic shed light on the fact that drivers need a reminder of the law. Far too many people are driving about the speed limit and are distracted by their phone, etc.

Senate Bill 477, the Zorn Bill, added tow trucks and utilities vehicles to the list. It also requires driver to reduce their speed to 10 MPH as they approach and pass emergency vehicles.

The Michigan Move Over Law states that when a stationary emergency vehicle has its light flashing, you must pull over into the other lane, when safe to do so. In the case where there it is only a one lane road or the emergency lights are not flashing, you are required to slow down and proceed with caution.

If you get caught not following the Mover Over Law, there is a steep fine of up to $500. You can get up to four points on your record and have to serve up to 90 days for the offense. Furthermore, if you injure or kill a first responder, you can be fined up to $7,500 and have to serve up to 15 years.

According to Move Over, America, more than 150 police officers have died since 1999 after being struck by a moving vehicle while they were pulled over on the side of the road. The organization was founded in 2007 by the National Safety Commission, the National Sheriff’s Association, and the National Association of Police Organizations in order to promote awareness over the Move Over Law.

The law applies not only to police and ambulances, but also to firetrucks, tow trucks, sanitation trucks, and any other service vehicle on the side of the road. The crackdown is intended to bring awareness to drivers about the law and ultimately save lives by reducing the number of tragic accidents.

Detroit Auto Show to Hit the Streets in June 2020

In an effort to boost crowds and keep automakers happy, the North American International Auto Show  (Detroit Auto Show) is being moved from its longstanding January date to June.

Although the Detroit Auto Show remains a popular event, drawing international attention, as new cars are revealed each year, there are some drawbacks to hosting the event in January. The weather is the most obvious drawback. However, the date also poses problems with automakers and their reveal dates, it costs them a lot more money to prepare for, as they are working through the November and December holidays to be ready for the event.

Automakers have begun pulling out of the 2019 show. The January date also poses a conflict with the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show.

The Detroit Auto Dealership Association came to the decision to move the even from January to June after discussing options with its 250 stakeholders. Their goal is to capitalize on better weather conditions to create a festival vibe. The auto show would draw more attention, as it occurs within the same time frame as the GM River Days and the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle.

The base of the Detroit Auto Show would remain in Cobo Center, but it will now be extended beyond these walls and into the neighboring areas of the city. This will allow vendors to take the exhibits outdoors, allowing visitors to drive the vehicles. Demos would be made available in real-world situations, rather than indoor simulations. Unique car displays will be built outdoors. The event will also feature concerts and food trucks from Hart Plaza, down Woodward Avenue to Campus Martius.

The Detroit Auto Show is an annual event that bring in $450 million to the area. In addition for Ford, foreign car-makers, which include Hyundai and Toyota support the decision to change the date. The auto show will continue as usual in 2109, going from January 21-27th. In 2020, the date will officially be moved to the week of June 8th.

A Day in the Life of a Dispatcher

When you contact 9-1-1, do you know the steps that dispatchers follow to gather the information needed to effectively deploy emergency personnel to the scene? Ever wondered what it would be like to work as a dispatcher?

Be sure not to miss this opportunity to get an inside look at the day of a MSP dispatcher!

On Tuesday, August 7 follow @MichStatePolice and @MSPMetroDet on Twitter for a Tuesday Tweet-Along with the dispatchers at our Detroit Regional Communications Center. Search #TweetWithMSP to find all the content.

MSP Community eNewsletter: August

Register Today for the Fall Color 5k

The Michigan State Police (MSP) invites you to participate in the 23rd Annual Fall Color 5k Run/Walk on Saturday, October 6 at Maybury State Park in Northville. The $25 entry fee includes a choice of t-shirt and refreshments.

Each year, the MSP hosts the Fall Color 5k to benefit the Thin Blue Line of Michigan, a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to providing assistance to law enforcement families in crisis and the MSP Fallen Trooper Memorial.

Register today at tblofmi.com.

MSP Community eNewsletter: August